In 2018, IAAH enjoyed the hospitality and warmth of the adolescent health community in Moldova for its 21st European Regional Conference. We are delighted that our friends in the amazing YK Neovita youth team have contributed their perspectives on volunteering to this issue of the newsletter, which is central to the mission of their youth clinic. – Nicola Gray
Background: Youth clinic Neovita offers comprehensive youth friendly health services from a multi-disciplinary team of specialists (doctors, midwifes, nurses, phycologists, social worker). It also actively involves young people in service provision through the volunteering program. To comprehend better “What is a volunteer?”, we decided to write this article about what this word means and how the lives of our young volunteers have changed.
Victor Zota: “The fact that you aim to change and to improve the society without being paid is called volunteering. Moreover, it helps you to boost your social skills. For instance, I have been doing volunteering for 2 years and it changed my life and personality completely. I participated in a lot of events and as a result I became more sociable, grown up and motivated.” (2 years of volunteering)
Dinu Bursuc: “Volunteering helped me to gain an enormous experience which I did not expect and helped me during my daily life. I had the chance to participate in different national and international conferences where I met people from all around the world, I learned about their culture and understood their way of thinking. I had the opportunity to help people and not to ask for something in return. So, we (volunteers) are a big and united family and I want more people to know about us.” (3 years of volunteering)
Daria Ambroci: “Neovita’s volunteers showed me that my opinion is important, too. From the first days I understood that I’m a part of this group. Volunteers are the people who are always ready to help you, no matter who are you or how are you looking. The Conference, Summer School and our many activities which we organised together united us. I’m proud that I’m a Neovita Volunteer.” (1 year of volunteering)
Maria Saulenco: “A thing that changed my life a year ago was volunteering, when I became a member of Neovita. After a little time, I understood that I like to help others, to put a smile on their faces and also to inform people of our services.” (1 year of volunteering)
Ecaterina Pitula: “To be a volunteer means to have the power to change the word, to have challenges, achievements and a peerless feeling of accomplishment. My life changed since I started to do volunteering. I started to be more confident, not to be scared of what I think and I understand that it’s OK to be ‘the black sheep’. Volunteering helped me to understand that we can’t obtain love through hate!” (1 year and 8 months of volunteering)
Roxana Brinza: “Neovita is not just a center for young people, it is a warm place where together with the coordinator, volunteers and specialists of the center, we promote a healthy way of life, a friendly environment for teenagers and help between teenagers. For a year, as a volunteer, I changed my vision about the problems faced by young people, I made new friends, I had pleasant moments with my colleagues. I was surrounded only by support and friendship, here everyone is listened to and helped.’’ (1 year of volunteering)
According to the above arguments, we came to realize that volunteering is something which will change your entire life. Moreover, there is no age for becoming one of us, for this reason you may start at any time. Summarizing, START VOLUNTEERING!